Perfectionism has several psychodynamic components: grandiose infallibility, fear of failure, procrastination-avoidance, passive-aggressive sadism, people-pleasing (I can be loved only if and when I am perfect).
Narcissist can idealize only internal objects - hence snapshotting. Why? Because his grandiosity requires that he idealizes only himself and internalizing an external objects makes it a part of himself, his extension. This is co-idealization.
The idealized internal objects must be perfect - hence perfectionism. Others, out of envy, spite, malice, or self-interested ulterior motives conspire to render the internal objects less than perfect (aggression) or expose their imperfections (passive-aggression).
The snapshots must also be perfect, so they are photoshopped.
But perfectionism sets the narcissist up for failure. It is self-defeating and ego dystonic. How come? It is intended to prevent destructive envy.
The narcissist has no core, so he experiences his internal objects as ego-alien. He is like a hive, ant colony, coalition, alliance, not unitary. His internal environment is regulated exclusively with negative emotions/affects such as shame, guilt, envy, anger, and hate. Narcissist not only hates himself, he is angry at himself, ashamed of himself - and envies himself!!!
Melanie Klein's three positions (baby's psychological progression)
1. Split bad (frustrating) object out there, good (gratifying) object in me
2. Depressive realization: everyone has both good and bad sides
3. Internalization of bad object and reparation: integration of both objects - good and bad - in single ego.
Sam Vaknin's three positions:
Normal, healthy progression
1. Split good object out there, bad object in me (mommy can’t be bad, it is too threatening)
2. Depressive position
3. Internalization of good object and reparation, single ego
Stage 3: instead of reparation, regression to paranoid-schizoid position (back to stage 1) and loop stages 1-2.
Jung was closest when he described pathological narcissism as failure of narcissistic investment in introversion.
The narcissist must deny the existence of any good outside himself.
The narcissist defends himself against raging, all consuming envy – by solipsistically claiming to be the only good object in the world.
This is an object that cannot be had by anyone, except the narcissist and, therefore, is immune to the narcissist's threatening, annihilating envy.
In order to refrain from being "owned" by anyone (and, thus, avoid self-destruction in the hands of his own envy), the narcissist reduces others to "non-entities" (the narcissistic solution), or completely avoids all meaningful contact with them (the schizoid solution).
The suppression of envy is at the core of the narcissist's being. If he fails to convince his self that he is the only good object in the universe, he is bound to be exposed to his own murderous envy. If there are others out there who are better than him, he envies them, he lashes out at them ferociously, uncontrollably, madly, hatefully and spitefully, he tries to eliminate them. If someone tries to get emotionally intimate with the narcissist, she threatens the grandiose belief that no one but the narcissist can possess the good object (that is the narcissist himself).
Only the narcissist can own himself, have access to himself, possess himself. This is the only way to avoid seething envy and certain self-annihilation. Perhaps it is clearer now why narcissists react as raving madmen to anything, however minute, however remote that seems to threaten their grandiose fantasies, the only protective barrier between themselves and their lethal, seething envy.
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